[QODLink]
Americas
US remains committed to Afghan exit in 2014
US military chiefs downplay remarks by defence secretary that Washington could end combat role a year early.
Last Modified: 03 Feb 2012 06:15

Military chiefs in the US say the country's commitment to Afghanistan has not changed after an earlier suggestion that their combat role might end earlier than previously thought.

Intelligence officials were trying to clarify remarks from Leon Panetta, the US defence secretary, who said that combat operations could end in 2013, a year early.

Speaking before a Congressional Committee, CIA director David Petraeus, once the commander of ISAF and US forces in Afghanistan, said: "The conversation Secretary Panetta had with some press on his plan was more than a bit over analyzed shall we say.

"The policy adopted by the leaders of the coalition, of the ISAF coalition with Afghan President Karzai was that by the end of 2014 ISAF will have transitioned all security tasks to Afghan forces."

Last month, a leaked National Intelligence estimate said the situation in Afghanistan was mired in stalemate.

It reported that the Taliban was not in retreat, and was more resilient and determined than ever to wait out the US withdrawal timeline.

Al Jazeera's Kimberly Halkett, reporting from Washington, says the mixed messages being sent by senior members of the Obama administration are not new.

Source:
Al Jazeera
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Since she was 16-years-old, Scottish Nationalist Party's Sturgeon has strove for independence from the UK.
Armed group's ransom success with German hostages marks a re-emergence, as authorities investigate ISIL links.
Western nations are moving into the resource-rich country after decades of disinterest, challenging China's interests.